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SS sendoukiaThe Skopelos Scramblers’ last walk, to Sendoukia, was quiet, peaceful and very beautiful; quiet because there were not many walkers, peaceful because there was no traffic, and beautiful because of the abundance of wild flowers and vegetation.

Sunday May 1
Skopelos Town and above

This Sunday’s walk will commence at 10.30am at the lane from the ring road that leads to the cemetery. The walk will follow the ridge above the town, descending down the kalderimi at the Kastro and continuing down to the paralia and a coffee shop where next week’s walk will be discussed. All are welcome to join the walk.

For more information please contact Muriel Dunlop on 24240 24732.

One of the Good Friday lamentations, sung by Glykeria; Ai Genai Pasai.

Ready

epitafeios

The epitafeios from Elios is ready to leave the church tonight. Photo from the cultural organization in Elios.

easter
The whole week leading up to Easter Sunday is filled with church services on Skopelos and you might have already been to one of the churches and seen what is going on. Friday and Saturday are the highlights and are interesting to follow. On Friday evening the church service will not be celebrated because it is the period when the crucifixion of Christ is being mourned.

The Friday procession will almost look like a burial procession. Most people will have dark-coloured candles, which will be lit inside the church and everybody will light each other’s candle. The epitafeio, or bier, carrying the icon representing the body of Christ, leaves the church and everybody follows the procession. It starts from the Christos church and after that passes Agios Jannis/Pandelemon, Panagia Papameletiou and Faneromeni. Find one of those churches and go there early in the evening, follow the crowd and join in!

On Saturday evening a church service culminates at midnight when the priest exits the church and tells the churchgoers that Christ has risen (Χριστός Ἀνέστη! – Christos anesti!). Everyone greets each other by saying Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη! – Alithos anesti! (truly, Christ has risen!) or χρόνια πολλά – kronia polla (many years)!

Most Greeks will go home and eat together or will go to a taverna to eat the Easter soup, Mayiritsa. The main Easter meal (on Easter Sunday) is lamb or goat, and this soup was designed to use the leftover parts so that nothing went to waste. This soup is prepared on Holy Saturday and eaten to break the fast after the midnight church service. Traditionally, the soup is put on low heat to cook before leaving for church and eaten afterwards.

Most people will carry coloured candles and children will have toys attached to their candles. It is difficult to get the lighted candle home, but if you manage this the holy light is in your house too and is believed to bring the household good luck for the following year. Many people will mark the lintel with a cross from the flame of the candle.

On Sunday everywhere celebrations will be held and people will eat meat again after forty days of the Lenten fast. Many restaurants will be open and the barbecues will be working overtime.

For me (Daphne) it is always a task to organize and think about which days the shops are closed and what to get in the house but this year it is even harder because the first of May is moved to another day (ever heard of that?).

The national May Day Holiday (or Πρωτομαγιά in Greek) celebrated on May 1 2016 will be moved to Tuesday May 3 2016 as it coincides with Greek Orthodox Easter Sunday.

So, how much bread, how much milk? Can my freezer take all the stuff so we can feed all those people? Help! And happy Easter!

SOBA got funky

mediterraneoThe impossibly hip mid-town section of Skopelos that they’re still not calling SOBA – South of Barramares – reached new heights of fabulousness with this week’s opening of the new Mediterraneo delicatessen in the store next to Finikas restaurant. While the owners admit they’ve seen it, they say that it is not named after the much-loved Oscar-winning Gabriele Salvatores movie of the same name shot on Kastelorizo. The deli is stocking a prodigious range of edible and drinkable treats, all made in Greece, and many of them never seen before on Skopelos, so it is well worth a visit.
Skop DeliWe sampled some of their extensive range of karamelos, orange peel in chocolate and candy coating, found ourselves sharing them with the clientele of Apolafsi (it was one of those afternoons…) and then took them home and hid them in the fridge. Your local hipster deli deserves your support.

Ampeliki newAmid all our reports of this or that restaurant re-opening for the tourist season, it’s easy to forget those who remained open throughout the winter to serve islanders and where we sought out friends and hot soups in those rainy and sometimes snowy days. Chief among these was Kostas Lemonis’s Ampeliki, above Skopelos town beach, where Kostas has re-fashioned his terrace into a flower-lined courtyard this spring. Ampeliki will (probably; he was havering…) be closed over the Easter weekend, but a small and determined team of the usual malcontents will be holding him to his promise of firing up his new barbecue at the back of the restaurant on Tuesday, when Skopelos will, like the rest of Greece, be celebrating a belated May Day festival. Ο αγώνας συνεχίζεται! (Look it up.)

And breathe out…

lungsThe Asklepeion health centre is initiating a lung assessment clinic, offering spirometry breathing tests, oxymetry blood oxygen checks, chest X-rays and other tests for anyone with breathing problems. As it explains, this concerns more people than just smokers and those of us feeling furtively smug about having just given up; anyone working in agriculture, the building trade, painting and decorating, even restaurant workers, can experience respiratory problems. The first clinic is on Saturday May 7, and you can book an appointment on 24240 23837.

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